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Dangers of oxygen-deficient atmospheres

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Effects of oxygen-deficient atmospheres

“Effects of exposure to low oxygen concentrations can include giddiness, mental confusion, loss of judgment, loss of coordination, weakness, nausea, fainting, loss of consciousness and death.”

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“The immediate effects of low oxygen environments are due to our body’s oxy- gen transport system. Blood absorbs oxygen from the air in our lungs to fuel the cells in our bodies. The brain is the body organ most sensitive to the lack of oxygen. Within five seconds after inhaling only a few breaths of oxygen- free gas, there is a rapid drop in the oxygen concentration of the blood. Mental failure and coma follow a few seconds later. Symptoms or warnings are gener- ally absent, but even if present, the loss of mental competence, weakness, loss of coordination, or fainting prevents victims from helping themselves or even summoning help. Death follows in just two to four minutes.”

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